Home > Interfaces, Reviews > PreSonus – AudioBox 22VSL

PreSonus – AudioBox 22VSL

Wazzup Dawfreaks.
I am back and this time I have the pleasure to give you my review of the brand new Interface AudioBox 22VSL from PreSonus.

IMG_0137

Technical Information.
The AudioBox 22VSL is the smallest version in the brand new AudioBox VSL series of USB 2.0 interfaces from PreSonus with a price around $199.95 US and 195 Euro.

The AudioBox 22VSL is compatible with both Windows and MAC and delivers support for  ASIO, Core Audio, Direct Sound (In Windows XP), Windows Audio Session API (In Windows Vista and Windows 7).

The AudioBox 22VSL is equipped with Class A XMAX mic preamps, known from the StudioLive mixers and has 24-bit, 96 kHz converters with 114 dB dynamic range and LED clip indicator for each channel.

The AudioBox 22VSL features the new VSL mixer software that holds processing features of Compressor, EQ and Gate as well as Reverb and Delay effects for monitoring purpose.

AudioBox 22VSL in/out specs

Inside the box

      As I open the nice looking box (see image above) I find that PreSonus has packed everything up nicely and everything needed to get the AudioBox 22VSl connected and letting you start your music creation is in the package, included with the  AudioBox 22VSL is

Studio One Artist

    .

The next image will show all that was included in the box.

IMG_0145

The AudioBox 22VSL
The AudioBox 22VSL has borrowed the looks from its older brother AudioBox USB, The blue steel case feels solid and the Interface is perfect in size.
The power led has been given a blue shine instead of the old red.

The front of the AudioBox 22VSL
IMG_0458

Looking at the front we first find the two combo XLR / ¼” mic/instrument inputs, after that we find the 48V Phantom power switch (Push button).

The first two lower knobs are the Gain knobs for channel 1 and 2, that has a range of -15 dB to +65 dB.

On the right side of then we find the mixer knob that control the balance between input and playback signal, if you use the VSL software this knob should be set to VSL as the software handles this balance instead.

The two top knobs handles the Main and Headphone output levels.

The back of the AudioBox 22VSL
IMG_0473

The back of the AudioBox 22VSL holds the USB 2.0 connector, MIDI in and out, the two balanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs and the stereo ¼” headphone output.

Installing the AudioBox 22VSL drivers and software is straight forward, since I already have the PreSonus Studio One V2 Professional (check out the review here ) I did not need any further installation but I reckon installing everything would be a 20 min job and then you are ready to start creating music.

The AudioBox 22VSL is built with quality, the size is perfect and the hardware is top class.
The only thing I do not like with the layout is that the Headphone jack is placed on the back.
The two mic / instrument inputs are amazing, The XMAX mic preamp worked flawless with my Solaris condenser microphone, and the instrument input handled my Yamaha electric acoustic guitar, and my Ibanez RG 420 electric guitar perfect.
The sound is crisp clear and totally buzz hum and noise free with perfect results, even when I hooked up my V-AMP 3 to the AudioBox 22VSL and let it pre-process the sound a bit I was amazed with the results.

The VSL mixer
VSL mix 1

The big advantage with the AudioBox VSL series of Audio Interfaces is the VSL mixer software, it not only controls everything it also comes with the processing effects EQ, Compressor and Gate.

But to take things further PreSonus also added two FX channels that will let you ad Reverb and Delay as monitoring effect, this is very useful when you want to have a more finished sound in your headphones when recording something like vocals.
In the VSL mixer software we have on the lower section first two channel strips for Input 1 and input 2, then comes the DAW channels 1 and 2 and is the output channel from your DAW software. Next We can see the FX channel A and B that handles the Reverb and Delay effects, and last is the Main output channel.

Furthest to the right we find a browser, here you can load predefined presets for the channel strips as well as different FX modes and even complete setups for the whole VSL mixer.
I want to point out that you can easily save your own settings and rename any setting in all three tabs of the browser.
Note that all channel strips has Gate, Compressor and EQ that can be turned on and off.

There are two more features I want to point out!
If you look at the top of input 1 and 2 as well as DAW1 and Daw2 you can se that we have
HI PASS and above that we find phase that is a phase reverse toggle.

On the IN2 channel  post is highlighted, This feature allows us to toggle the channel effects to process the audio file so we get a recorded audio that has been pre-processed by the VSL effects, Note that if you have any Input Channels sent to the FX buses, these effects cannot be recorded in your DAW.

Having the VSL is great, ether to just monitor your audio with effects or to pre-process the audio with EQ, Gate, Compressor, or you can do both.
The THE FX A and FX B allows us to get in touch with the finished sound or to get what you would have in the studios effects in your vocal when recording.
But that’s not it..
No matter the what buffer settings you use and what latency you have in DAW, you will still have near zero latency on the inputs when using the VSL mixer´s effects.
The big advantage with the VSL mixer is that it can be used to save up resources by using the Post feature to pre process the audio when recording in your DAW.

Conclusion
A first look at the PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL would probably make you think just another USB 2.0 Audio Interface, but one thing I have learned is to really look into an interface and its features before deciding if its for me or not.
The AudioBox 22VSL has the look of its older brother AudioBox USB , But that is not a bad choice made by PreSonus.
The  Build quality of the AudioBox 22VSL its FANTASTIC, This little box can handle allot of beating and that’s always nice if you are using it with your portable PC/MAC.
The control knobs feel very nice and even though the space is limited between the knobs they are easily turned.
The Preamps are first class, as I mentioned before they work perfect with anything I tested on them.
The only bad thing I found with the AudioBox 22VSL is the Headphone jack placement.
I swap headphones allot and it’s a pain when the jack is in the back of the interface.

The software bundle with the AudioBox 22VSL is great, you will have a good start point and will be doing music in less then an hour after you open the box.
The VSL mixer is awesome, and will be a life and timesaver for many who has it in the feature.
To be able to pre-process the sound or just to get a good monitoring effect when recording is ace, but the real strength to me is the the ability to pre-process the audio.
Just look at recording vocals, you use the VSL the get a perfect start point for your mix and save that setting to the VSL software.
Now every time you want to record vocals you can load that setting and your vocal audio file will have a nice start point for when its time to mix.

I am very impressed with the AudioBox 22VSL, PreSonus clearly know how to make great products and adding nice usable features at the right price.
I also want to add that during these three Months I have had the AudioBox 22VSL running with windows 7 64 bit, the driver has not once failed on me or the computer.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • First class preamps.
  • Easy to use
  • Great price
  • The VSL mixer
  • Stable drivers

Cons

  • NONE

Valuerecommended

I would like to thank PreSonus and Luthman for making this review reality.

And to all my readers … THANK YOU

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  1. simon
    April 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm | #1

    new firmware update makes it only 32bit and that causes clicks as it increases the overheads, i only use 24but/48khz so this is extremely annoying as even on dual-core machines is unusable, i hope presonus fix this ASAP!!!

    best i can get now is approx 26ms total latency at 1024 buffers and it still clicks(eg if playing more than 4 notes via midi), setting it to 2048 buffers makes it slower than directx at about 60ms!

    it also constantly uses about 4% cpu, add in guitar rig and you’ll go over 100% at which point the driver gives up and you need to restart the daw.

    btw the download version of studio one 1.6 doesn’t have vst support but the disk version(an older build) does…does sound nice though when it works

    in conclusion, upgrading the driver and firmware breaks the device and makes it no better than a toy.

    • April 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm | #2

      I have the latest firmware and i have no issues . Running 64bit mode.
      Contact the support team they are very helpful and will help you!!

  2. simon
    April 8, 2012 at 11:00 am | #3

    the files created are 24bit but my device always sits at 32bit – does yours change?

    a workaround is to record as dry as possible and then increase the buffers to add effects eg guitar rig. bit wasteful of cpu to input at 32bit when i’m only recording at 24. pc would multitrack easily at 16bit(fender mustang 1) with low latency but it needs a pretty hot pc to handle 32.

    sound is awesome for a device like this and the drivers are otherwise good, the internal dsp is great.

    if its just how it works i’m gonna need at least an i5 to record with guitar rig.

    • April 8, 2012 at 11:18 am | #4

      Yes mine changes.
      First of id like to ask you your PC spec and what windows you are using.
      I have an I7 with 12 gig ram and windows 7.
      Windows 7 itself is the first thing you should get if you.don’t have it.
      Guitar rig is as far as i know demanding on the CPU sadly Native instruments has not let me review guitar rig so i do not know much about the system use.
      But a god start is windows 7.
      Clean install..
      If you are on win7 have u disabled UAC ? Are you running your DAW the VSL software as administrator? If not .. Try that.
      These 2 things CAN make a huge inpact on how software act and behave.
      /Dawfreak

  3. Mark
    June 2, 2012 at 7:11 am | #5

    I do voice recording and never need more than 16bit 44khz quality. I use a condenser mic that requires phantom power. I have a laptop with a dual core @ 2.5Ghz and I run 32bit Win 7.( driver issues with 64bit) and 64bit Linux. .I want to do my radio show from the road and upload it. Am I wasting my time looking into this unit?

    • June 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm | #6

      I actualy think this unit can be just for you. With the VSL software you will be spot on for radio ;)

  4. Aaron Mahoney
    August 1, 2012 at 12:56 am | #7

    Um why on earth is that guy running 24/48 in the 1st place?!?!?

    • SSGO!
      March 12, 2013 at 8:45 am | #8

      What’s wrong with that?

  5. August 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm | #9

    I’ve had no problems with any of this stuff. I’m running Windows 7 64 bit with an i5. The Audiobox22 VSL is just awesome. Headphone jack on the front would be more convenient, but I’d rather have the good preamps and have to change headphones than cheap preamps and a headphone jack on the front!

  6. Ammar Saleem
    September 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm | #10

    im considering to buy this interface intend to use it with a core 2 duo 2.0ghz ibm thinkpad laptop with 2 gb ram on win xp running cubase mainly vsts & synths is this thing going to gimme latency problems pops clicks thats the only thing im concerned with if it can run with my setup its the one for me

    • September 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm | #11

      honistly i am not sure since xp pc,s is out dated.

  7. fab
    September 20, 2012 at 9:21 am | #12

    I need help on this… There’s no problem in my AUDIOBOX USB lastime, I always practice playing guitar along with media player or winamp last time and its working, but these recent time when i plug my guitar on plug in 2 which is for instrument, it’s not working, even in plugin 1, but i when i play mp3 or audio there is a sound. and by the way the last time i use it i forgot to unplug my guitar PL cable and maybe my PL cable was grounded on the floor. hope someone can help me… thanks a lot!

    • September 20, 2012 at 9:25 am | #13

      try the PreSonus forums, great helping and friendly people there who might be able to help.

      • fab
        September 20, 2012 at 9:29 am | #14

        OK man thanks!

  8. March 8, 2013 at 1:39 am | #15

    Great review!

    I plan on using the 22VSL w/ Studio One 2.5.

    My laptop is running Windows 7 (x64), 6GB RAM, i5 2.53GHz processor

    Should I be able to run Studio One (64-bit) comfortably without problems or should I install the 32-bit version?? Also, the front of the box says “32-bit effects”. Are they compatible with 32 and 64-bit DAWs?

    Sorry, I’m kind of a noob.

  9. adilog
    November 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm | #17

    Nice review….

    Dawfreak…..
    Currently i’m using v-amp 2 for recording using my PC Desktop, i plug the line out L/R from v-amp 2 directly to line in PC and the sound result is fine. simple schema:
    Guitar -> V-Amp 2 -> PC

    from your review, using audiobox can produce great sound? do i need to use audiobox to record my guitar?
    the schema change to
    Guitar -> V-Amp 2 -> Audiobox -> PC

    • November 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm | #18

      Hi. And thank you..
      Yes that is the way i connect my v-amp..

  10. adilog
    April 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm | #19

    That’s very Nice Review…

    Dear DAW freak…
    Im want to buy my first sound card:

    1. In your opinion, which is better, POD Studio UX2 or Presonus 22 VSL, currently I use V-Amp2 for amp modeling. which is better in sound quality and latency?

    2. If i want to record my guitar directly using both sound card? which is valuable and better?
    UX2 has POD Farm 2 but still trial, we must buy a license abut $99 and AB 22VSL only has studio one artist

    Thank You….

  11. soumen
    April 19, 2014 at 11:17 am | #20

    can i use protools with this sound card ??????????

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